For years, the Sun Herald has been an advocate of giving voters more, not less, freedom at the polls. So our opposition to state Sen. Chris McDaniel’s proposal to impose political registration as a test of party purity on Mississippi voters should come as no surprise.
We appreciate McDaniel’s frustration with the current system of party primaries, as he blames it for his loss of the Republican nomination for a seat in the U.S. Senate last year. Specifically, McDaniel accuses Democrats of voting for incumbent Thad Cochran in the Republican primary and runoff.
Under the current system, that is a possibility.
We would fix it by permitting voters to chose among candidates in both the Democratic and Republican primaries. This would give voters the freedom to chose, for example, a Democrat for one office and a Republican for another.
But McDaniel doesn’t want voters to be able to cross over party lines.
He wants each Mississippi voter to declare his or her political allegiance at the time of registration. Then when primary day rolls around, each voter would be restricted to participating in only that party’s primary.